Hi, as a matter of fact this project never got done.
I did some sample testing trying to get the dark color I thought I wanted. The only way I found to get the dark color was to add tiny bits of black oil based paint to the stain, and that didn't look right either.
(The purpose in the dark was to try and cover the medium oak thats there without sanding it all off). We were just trying to scuff the surface up, and stain it.
However, what we found in testing the back side of a couple doors, is that the wood on these older cabinets has some age/water damage at the edges, as any would. This causes the grain t obe very loose at that point and it soaks in more stain and looks darker on the edges as though one did a poor stain job.
I have since read that using a wood conditioner can help to fix that problem.
I am actually eyeing this project again.
I ave looked at trying to cover the boxes in a sheet wood and buy new doors but its outside the budget right now and I hear mixed reviews on facing the boxes like that. Some say it wont hold up.
I think my best solution to get the color I want is to take the doors all the way down to bare wood, but thats a LOT of sanding.
I just bought one of those dremel multimax tools and I've been wondering if I can use that to "easily" sand the boxes AND doors all the way to bare wood, and then stain them back up a nice rich caramel color and then poly coat them about 4 times.
I did find on ebay that I can get something like 75 120 grit paper pads for that thing for like 50 bucks. If it'll sand like they show on TV I think I could use that and take every box and door nook and crappy down to bare wood but I've been searching for anyone who has done anything like that and came up empty.
I also have a random orbital sander, but I've heard that'll leave swirl marks on the wood, AND it produces a LOT of dust whereas, (at least in cutting things) the Multimax seems to work less violently, and the dust and chips seem to just fall straight down which would be much better for cleanup.
If anyone else cares to chim in on this please do so.
If I could use that to sand it all down, and some finer grit hand sanding to smooth the surface and restain, I think I'd be looking at around
$50 in multimax sand pads
say another $25 in finer grit hand sand paper
maybe 40 bucks in some stain
and maybe 30 in some poly
Dunno what wood conditioner would cost, so I'll throw in 30
I MAY would choose to buy 2 doors for below my sink to match the rest as for some reason, those two doors have an arched top whereas the rest of mine are just square flat panel.
So, I THINK i'd be looking at around $165ish to redo em.
Whereas if I buy doors, I'm looking at around 1000+ for finished doors, plus prob 300 or so in covering the boxes and staining that, which is a bit over the budget.